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The 'n' word

How to say 'no' in the workplace

Gazette staff June 8th, 2011

There, we said it. But can you? And in a way that won’t spark conflict?

In the workplace, there’s a right and wrong way to say “no,” according to business course designer Carl Van, author of the nonfiction book “Gaining Cooperation.” Not saying anything could be interpreted as a passive “yes,” but you don’t want to hurt fellow employees’ feelings, either.

Van suggests these four tips to standing your ground without causing trouble:

—Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t have to mean you really are.
—Repeat to the other person their point of view, so they’ll listen to yours.
—No need to prove to someone that the situation is their fault.
—Avoid using the word “but” when empathizing. —Gazette staff

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